Unveiling Samuel L. Clemens' Professional Identity: Mark Twain's Significance

Categories: Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain's real name?
Samuel L Clemens (pen name)
What does "mark the twain" mean?
Boating term- measures the depth of water to see if boat can pass through
What did Mark Twain do?
Riverboat pilot, printer and gold miner
What did Huck Finn lead to?
Book had powerful social themes which led to controversy and banning
How old was Twain when he died?
75 years old
What was the first official novel of Twain?
Tom Sawyer
TS characters are based on what?
Twain's childhood friends
What did TS accomplish and help?
TS was very popular and helped Twain in later career w/ a fan base (like Huck Finn, Puddinhead Wilson, Letters form the earth, etc.


Who published Huck Finn?
Mark Twain, not a company
What were HF characters based on?
childhood friends- sequel to Tom Sawyer
What did Twain do to promote HF?
Traveled country giving lectures and printing previews
Who banned it in 1885?
Concord Library Committee- gave book a lot of publicity
What list is HF on?
Why was HF banned now and in 1880s?
1880s- abolitionist views
Today- use of "n" word (times), stilled debated
1st pov advantages?
More feelings/emotions, adds suspense, use slang, speak in dialect
1st pov disadvantages?
Reader knows main character will make it out okay
Why is HF 1st pov?
Reflects Huck's thoughts- but don't think author and Huck are the same
What are the 3 sections to HF?
1st- Living in civilization in Missouri
2nd- Huck and Jim in the wilderness
3rd- Huck returns to civilization*each has own plot structure and each type of conflict*
How did Twain write HF?
Wrote first 16 chapter right away, put it down, threatened to burn it, over 7 years came back to it every so often
HF literary elements?
-Coming of age novel (watch how Huck matures)
-Melodramatic (has a lot of exaggeration)
-Picaresque (a detailed story told in episodes w/ journey as the central plot)
Themes of HF?
-Slavery and Racism: published after civil war but blacks weren't equal, pointing out that people aren't treating them equally as humans
-Contrast between civilization and wild: civilization brings chaos/complication and wilderness brings peace
-Contrast between social norm and morality: shown through religion, issue of slavery and characters of King and Duke
What can the reader expect in a story told from first-person point of view?
Subjective views, all in events in Huck's pov
Describe the setting as it is established in the first chapter.
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Pre-civil war in Missouri- by river
What evidence is presented to establish Huck as a youth rather than an adult?
Lives w/widow, goes to school, judge takes care of his money
What exposition is provided by Huck, which he claims is the prequel to this story.
The background story when he talks about Tom Sawyer and this is the sequel, talks about money found in the cave, said he wrote a few "stretchers".
How does Twain establish Huck Finn as a mischievous rascal?
Way he looks, sneaks out of house, smokes, joins gang and not afraid of hell
How does Twain incorporate humor through point of view in 1st chapter?
The good place(heaven), hell discussion- Huck would rather go to hell w/ Tom than heaven w/ Miss Watson
What evidence of Huck's own superstitious nature does Twain show the reader at the end of the 1st chapter?
Flicks a spider into a candle and then turns around 3 times and crosses heart so he doesn't have bad luck
How does the author create suspense at the start of the 2nd chapter?
By hiding in the bushes and Huck has an itch, suspense b/c we don't know if they will get caught of not
Explain the significance of the expression "sign your name in blood" as it is used in 2nd chapter.
Connotation= saying how serious the oath is- but is isn't serious
In what ways is Huck different from the other boys in the gang?
Different b/c he doesn't have a family, had rough life (days w/o food), other boys have stable families
Describe how Huck Finn changes his opinion of Tom Sawyer as the 2nd chapter develops.
Starts thinking that not everything he says is true, thinks he is an idiot, not into imagination anymore, Tom loses credibility
Explain the significance of the woods to Huck's life.
Retreat to get away from Widow's rules, Tom's imaginary games, etc.
List and briefly explain the misrepresentation up until 3rd chapter that Tom Sawyer believes to be the truth.
Tom thinks ransom means hold until they dies but it is really hold for money
What is Huck's reaction to the footprints, and what could the reader infer about the future plot of the story using his reaction as evidence?
He gets freaked out, upset and goes to Judge to give away $ so his father couldn't have it
Speculate why Huck gives all of his money to Judge Thatcher.
So pap can't have it but he doesn't want to lie so he gives it away
How does 4th chapter depict Jim as Huck's confidante? Why is this relationship is successful?
They talk- Successful b/c that both have hard lives and not ties much to civilization more to wild
Why does Huck trust the magic hairball's advice more than Jim's?
Strong beliefs in superstition and societies "slaves are stupid" mentality
What example of foreshadowing does Twain use in 4th chapter?
Jim says stay away from water and Pap takes him to water to cabin in Illinois
How does Twain express his skepticism toward men who claim to be "reformed" and those who push to "reform" others?
A new judge tries to fix pap but pap breaks his arm and says the only thing that can reform him is death. Pap not changing shows Twain believes that
How does the foreshadowing in Chapter 4 come to a resolution at the beginning of Chapter 6?
Pap takes Huck to cabin against his will (near water)
What is ironic about Pap's holding Huck against his will?
He only wants his money- holding him for ransom. Ironic b/c Huck is now victim of ransom and used to be interested by it
How does Twain create humor in the tense situation of Pap's drunken rage in the cabin?
Goes into gov. about how they trying to take Huck away and how he has put a lot of time in raising Huck and things- pap is against legal system but it was in his favor
How does Twain begin to question the morality of slavery in 6th chapter?
With pap's drunken rage- he is complaining about a mixed man that is a professor and he can vote. Anything that pap said is against what Twain said. b/c we hate pap we are against everything he says
How is suspense created in 7th chapter?
Huck starts escape- he cuts hole in wall and covers with blanket, suspense b/c we don't know if pap will notice the hole or not
After the disappointment of their last interaction, explain why Huck says: "I did wish Tom Sawyer was there; I knowed he would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in the fancy touches. Nobody could spread himself like Tom Sawyer in such a thing as that."
Shows that he still kind of holds Tom on a petistool- disappointed on Arab elephant thing- didn't like imaginary thing but still wants his approval
Describe the examples of imagery used at the end of chapter 7.
Suspense when Pap goes by canoe- so close that he could almost touch him. Also describes moon, sky, water, very relaxing part- he is in nature all is calm and relaxed
Explain how Twain's experience as a riverboat captain and the writing technique of local color enhance the exposition of chapter 8.
They put mercury in loaves of bread and Twain knew that also firing cannons into the water also
What satire about religion does Huck offer in chapter 8?
According to Huck, religion works for a certain type of people (good people). It doesn't work for Huck but does for Widow Douglas
Explain the meaning of Huck's expression: "There warn't much sand in my craw"?
Huck isn't very brave
List and summarize the situations of superstitions mentioned in chapter 8.
Don't touch a snake skin, b/c of # of birds flying it was going to storm, looking at moon over left shoulder, if man has a bee hive- and dies you have to tell the bees, hairy arms and chest= rich, shake a table cloth after sundown= bad luck
How is Jim portrayed as a stereotypical Southern slave in chapter 8?
W/ superstitions and Huck views Jim like society (naive)
Explain the significance of the Mississippi Valley's caves and caverns in the story thus far.
Got rich in cave, started gang in cave, went to cave for shelter (w/ Jim)= sanctuary for Huck
How does the weather contrast with the mood of Jim and Huck at the start of this chapter?
The weather is bad, raining, windy but they are very happy and comfortable unlike weather
Although some critics find fault with what they consider to be Twain's "heavy-handed" use of such figurative and sound devices, what effect does he create with this language?
Imagery of the storm also sound effects like the storm
In what way does Jim. assume a father-like role to Huck at the end of chapter 9 temporarily establishing him as a foil to Pap?
He covers head of dead body so Huck can't see it- protective of Huck unlike Pap
How does Huck's view of superstition evolve over the course of chapter 10?
Huck put a rattle snake by Jim & Jim gets bit by one so he starts to believe in Jim's superstitions
Explain the significance of Chapter 11's title, "They're After Us!"
The ladies, husbands and friends are after Jim- but not really Huck. Shows that they are both in trouble b/c he is very loyal to Jim and this shows that by this. They are companions
Hypothesize why the reward for Pap is only two hundred dollars and the reward for Jim is three hundred dollars given that Pap is suspected as Huck's killer.
Because Jim is worth more b/c he is considered property b/c he is a slave and Pap isn't property
What theme is Twain building in chapter 11 when Huck chooses not to turn Jim in for the reward money?
They are after us- but thwy don't have to conform to society, Huck is loyal to Jim and not to society showing loyalty and friendship
What do the events of chapter 12 suggest about Huck's personal development?
Huck is acting like Tom Sawyer and gets into dangerous situations when he does this, but he is becoming more mature b/c he told the person to go back to help the robbers
What purpose does chapter 12 serve?
Plot and development of character 4 future chapters
Identify the hyperbole in the first paragraph of chapter 13 and explain why it is used here.
"Seemed a week before we got to the stern" - he said this because it is taking him so long to get there
How does Twain, again, portray Huck Finn as a boy of quick wits?
The watchmen fills in the blanks for what Huck is saying so he uses it- uses info for his advantage
In previous chapters, Huck refers to Tom Sawyer as a role model by asking himself, "What would Tom Sawyer do?" Explain another role model presented in chapter 13, as well as the situation and significance around this reference.
Another role model is Widow Douglas- he wishes she knew that he wanted to help the robber by telling the watchman to go help the robbers- he is the helper in this situation
Explain the pun in the last sentence of chapter 13: "By the time I got there the sky was beginning to get a little gray in the East; so we struck for an island, and hid the raft, and sunk in the skiff, and turned in and slept like dead people."
The pun is slept like dead people b/c they sleep very hard like a dead person while they just left and area where 3 people might die
What is the purpose of chp. 14?
The purpose is to show how stubborn Jim and Huck are- they both think they are right about Kind Solomon and aren't willing to admit they are wrong
In what way is Jim's ignorance obvious through the course of the conversation?
Huck said people speech different languages throughout the world but Jim doesn't get it or accept it
Explain the significance of this chapter's title, "Fooling Poor Old Jim."
Huck pretends that the whole thing with the fog never happened so he was fooling Jim- then reveals himself when he sees the leaves and stuff on raft
What does Huck do at the end of this chapter that was surprising in the historical and social context of the book? Why is this a turning point for Huck and Jim's friendship?
Jim calls Huck trash (not normally for pre-civil war) and then Huck apologizes to Jim- it is a big deal b/c Huck doesn't sees Jim as property but as a friend
What is the internal conflict developed in chapter 16?
Whether or not to turn Jim in as runaway slave
2. How does Huck's moral conflict reach a climax in chapter sixteen?
Huck's decision is to say that there are white people on his boat and they have smallpox - they don't want smallpox so they leave them alone
How does chapter 16 end?
The raft is busted into 2 by a steamboat and Huck and Jim jump off and are separated
Describe how the character of Buck Grangerford could be a foil to Huck Finn
They are foil characters b/c they are the same age, Bucks family is big=huck no family, buck is civilized w/ wealth and slaves=huck likes nature not $ and no slaves, buck has no hardships=huck does, Buck excepts slavery=huck is struggling with it
What is the purpose of the long passages in chapter 17 describing the Grangerford house?
The house is elegant, extravagant and huck is in awe so he describes everything he sees
What is the author's purpose in the lengthy passages about Emmeline Grangerford?
Poems about death and Twain is making fun of American and European author b/c thats what they write about
Explain why chapter 18 creates a framework story in the novel.
Framework story b/c you can take out chp. 17 and 18 and make another story-don't need to know the rest of the story, the only reason it ties in is when Jim and Huck are reunited
In describing Buck's attack on Harney and the Grangerford/Sheperdson feud, what social point is Twain expressing?
Making fun of the petty ridicules fights of the upper class- that fight over things that have no real importance
What is ironic about the Grangerfords' and Sheperdsons' attending church?
The sermon's topic was brotherly love and they love it when they don't have brotherly love with each other
Explain how the first person point of view naturally on,its a main character from the majority of chapter 18 and the previous chapter? How does this affect the reader's interpretation of the novel?
Jim is gone and we forget about him b/c of the new characters and b/c it is first person pov
6. What event makes Huck want to leave the Grangerford property? When does he finally feel safe again?
When he witnesses multiple deaths like Buck- finally feels safe when they are on the raft 2 miles below there
shore= chaos, raft=peacefulness
What effect does Twain achieve with the personification at the beginning of chapter 19?
They are saying that things are going okay by personifying that the days "swam by"
Explain the intent of the imagery appealing to all five senses Twain uses as the beginning of chapter 19.
Imagery of the surrounds of the raft- quiet, peaceful, relaxing, tranquil showing they feel free
Contrast Jim's and Huck's reactions to the duke and the king
Huck knows they are frauds but he doesn't want to expose them- but Jim believes they actually are
How does Twain again use weather to emphasize the mood and rising action of a conflict?
There is a storm while the king and duke are fighting over where there sleeping- it is resolved by saying he is used to hardships and lets the king have it
What is Twain suggesting by having the king and the duke pull their first "con" at a religious revival?
The king said he was a pirate for years and will go help the other pirates and turn them into Christians and ends up with a lot of money. Twain is suggesting they are a joke bc they are naïve, trusting and in general they are a con
How does Twain continue the lightened mood of chapter 20 in the last few lines?
Jim asks him to speech French and the King says that he has been gone so long that he forgot French
What solution to a complication of the plot is temporarily solved in chp. 20?
They can go down river during the day- they can go during the day and they have a poster that describes Jim and says that he is a slave and they are taking him back for reward that they made
Use evidence to explain how Twain characterizes the Arkansas townspeople
Not very smart, poor, simple, rouged, immoral. They found it funny to light a dog on fire
What is the author's purpose in portraying the townspeople as he does?
To show the dark comedy- killed a harmless person and want to lynch cornial - army is like a mob, follow leaders and borrows courage from officer
What is ironic about Huck's not understanding the stunt with the drunken horseman at the circus? Why does Twain include this episode in chapter 22?
This is ironic because Huck has experienced in drunkenness b/c he has dealt with a lot of drunkenness and the guy was pretending to be drunk and he doesn't even realize that.
How does the chapter create a mild amount of suspense, leaving the reader with hope for the con artists?
It creates suspense b/c they say no women or children and they don't appreciate actual theater- the townspeople want vulgar
How is the "success" of the duke's and king's second advertised play Twain's final jab at the town?
B/c the play was such a success they don't appreciate Shakespearean but want stupid humor
What effect does Twain create through the story of Jim's deaf daughter?
Pathos-He told her to do something and she didn't do anything so he hit her, then he realizes that she is deaf and feels really bad
What epiphany does Huck have in chpt. 23 that advances his inner conflict?
He realizes that Jim feels about his family the same way a white man feels about his family- finally realizes Jim is human- he is maturing
How does Huck's opinion of the king and duke contrast with his previous opinions?
They are going to pretend to be brothers of a dead man but this scam is despicable in Huck's eyes
What does the king's conversation on the steamboat foreshadow?
They plan to scam the family
What is the primary source of suspense in chp. 25
The suspense is if the king and duke are going to succeed with their scheme- the Dr. adds suspense
Why does Twain seem to always portray the con men's victims as either greedy or foolish themselves?
The other were foolish bc they wanted dark comedy- gave funeral talk and said orgies and he means to say obsequies and they accept their explanation. Because they are coning people that are foolish its saying that you can't cheat an honest person.
How does the description of the house contribute to the characterization of the three daughters? How are they different from the Grangerfords?
The wilkes(elegant, simple) are wealthy but not as much as grangerford(gaudy)
What is the literal meaning of Huck's expression, "I see I was up a stump?"
Tried to continue to tell his lies but he is caught in a few lie- she doesn't believe him- stump of tree and no where else to go- stuck
What narrative purpose does Huck's eavesdropping on the conversation between the king and the duke serve?
We gain the knowledge and what Huck thinks of it- if Huck doesn't eavesdrop then we don't know what their plan is b/c of 1st person so he has to listen
With what bit of dark humor does Twain begin chapter 27?
He hides the money in his coffin- something serious. Also dog barking while a funeral was going on killed rat bc dog was chasing it
How does Twain continue to question the morality of slavery in chapter 27?
Mary Jane was upset when slave families were split
How does this chapter 28 illustrate growth on Huck's part?
He feels sorry for Mary Jane so he tells her the truth of the fraud- Huck knows difference between right and wrong and works to fix it
What darkly comic elements does Twain use in chapter 29?
The real Harvey says one tattoo and king says another so they have to dig up the grave and check also they want to hang the 4 men that claim to be related also that a deaf mute also has a broken arm.
How does the weather in the graveyard scene contribute to the mood?
The weather was lightning, noisy, chaotic and it matched the scene
How do Huck's emotions range during the course of chapter 29?
When he leaves the town he is excited b/c they are finally going to leave King and Duke- but then he hears them and his mood changes to heart-brokenness
Explain how = chapter 30 is the resolution of the Wilks framework story?
The duke and king leave with no money and lost $400 also and the real brothers get the money and the duke, king, huck and jim leave
The king and the duke make amends and indulge in drinks. What is Twain probably suggesting by having these characters take to drinking?
Other people drink were Pap, Bougs, Arkansas people- we assoisate drinking characters as bad characters also greedy suggested that we don't think well of them
What single incident proves the king and the duke to be nearly as stupid as the townspeople?
The king and duke blame each other for the money and don't blame Huck who is a very obvious- also betrayed as stupid and naive just like the Arkansas ppl
What situations does Twain use to create a light-hearted mood in chp. 37?
Married couple bickering- they are fighting about the shirts and he uses it to create humor.
Compare and contrast the character of Nat to Jim.
Nat is foolish- he represents Jim before the trip but now Jim is more sensible and smart.
Analyze the relationship between Tom Sawyer and Jim.
Tom treats Jim as a toy/ action figure tom thinks this is fun- just tom's entertainment
What is significant about Tom wanting Jim to have a snake in the cell with him?
It is significant b/c in the beginning a snake bit Jim and how it is bad luck to touch a snake skin- coming full swing again- his solution is to make a garden snake a rattle one
Explain Jirn's willingness to go along with Tom's foolishness
He is doing this because Tom is white and white man know better and are the best at determining things so he goes along with it.
How does Twain begin to build the climax of Jim's escape plan by using the element of suspense?
He builds suspense by hinting letters b/c Phelps was going to send advertisements about Jim where Jim's master is so it is suspenseful
How has the entire episode of attempting to free Jim contributed to Twain's theme of moral ambiguity?
Who is capturing him is treat Jim pretty well- they bring him food and pray for him. The people that are trying to free him are treating him bad by making him tame things and stuff
Explain the verbal irony in Huck's statement: "We was all glad as we could be, bu t Tom was the gladdest of all because he had a bullet in the calf of his leg."
This is ironic b/c it is unexpected that he is happy with a bullet in his leg b/c most people wouldn't be happy
What startling revelation does Huck come to regarding Jim?
He said that Jim was a "white person on the inside' he sees him as more of a person unlike society- happened b/c he wouldn't leave Tom when wunded
How does Twain create pathos in this chapter?
Through Aunt Sally crying because Sid hasn't come home yet- creates an emotional response
How does Twain continue to develop Huck's character as a thoughtful, caring person?
B/c Aunt Sally is so upset he won't go after Tom and Jim and he stays- he is caring and thoughtful
Updated: Apr 29, 2023
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Unveiling Samuel L. Clemens' Professional Identity: Mark Twain's Significance. (2018, Jan 09). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/huck-finn-essay

Unveiling Samuel L. Clemens' Professional Identity: Mark Twain's Significance essay
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